Whichever Way You Are Going You Are Going Wrong

by Woo

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    A year after Drag City’s reissue of their soft-hued bedroom psych gem 'It’s Cozy Inside', the Woo revival continues with an Emotional Rescue reissue of their similarly slanted and enchanted 1982 debut, 'Whichever Way Your Are Going You Are Going Wrong'. You may previously have encountered it four of five years ago on Mutant Sounds, who proclaimed it “absolute unsung genius...uncanny and weirdly affecting”, and certainly weren’t wrong. Both the original private pressing on the band’s own Sunshine Series and the subsequent re-release on Savage Republic’s Independent Projects label are much sought after, but collector’s cache of this album is secondary to its musical value - it really is a classic. Working with acoustic guitars, clarinet, rhythm box, keyboards, singing bowls, pixiephone and subtle processing, this is gloriously DIY, melancholic, avant-garde pastoralism that connects the dots between Pentangle, Gareth Williams, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Dif Juz and Robert Wyatt. From the cool summer breeze of opener, which sounds like a library-rock jam between Basil Kirchin and Vini Reilly, to the trippy, proto-techno drum ‘n Moog mantras of ‘Pokhara’ and ‘The Cleaner’, and mystic folk ruminations like ‘C.H. Revisited’ and ‘A Wave’, there isn’t a dull moment. The second half of the album goes deeper into dubwise Arcadian jazz, Mark Ives’ woozy treated woodwind taking centre-stage, and the one vocal cut, ‘The Attic’, is a stunning instance of wry, painterly, Eno-esque pop. ... more
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about

Woo's first album, rereleased by Emotional Rescue in 2013, first released in 1981.
Hard to catagorise, their personal folktronica is the result of Mark’s melodic guitar, clavinet, bass and vocals running through Clive’s array of synthesisers. filters and effects, creating something unique and sadly still, an largely unknown genius.

Described as sounding like the music the Durutti Column would of made with Penguin Cafe Orchestra if produced by Brian Eno, Woo have recorded over 1,500 tracks, however here for the first time is the remastered reissue of their cult and cryptically titled debut album.

With percussion that echoes elements of Kosmiche’s rolling rhythms, the subtle and often brooding textures and moods hint at fully formed songs that are in reality a series of instrumental vignettes which together create a cinematic whole.

More than simple ambient minimalism, the liquid sounds seep in to your brain to offer a particular take of the English new age meditative mindset - the green and pleasant land maybe but with a twist of darkness not expected across 13 laconic pieces.

Released on both screen printed vinyl and CD, Whichever Way will be followed by what could be their masterpiece, Into The Heart Of Love. Previously only available on cassette this will be a collectors dream, while an in production third album promises further intrigue, bringing
together the Ives brothers and fellow space travellers the Seahawks.

Close your eyes.

credits

released 01 July 2013

tags

tags: electronic fx folk new age reissues United Kingdom

credits

released October 10, 2012

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all rights reserved

tags

about

Woo UK

British brothers Clive and Mark Ives, have been recording together since the 70s. Over that time they have developed a sound wholly their own, combining acoustic instrumentation (primarily guitar and clarinet) and electronics in a way that reflects the past, present and future.Touching upon jazz, psychedelic, ambient and folk/pop idioms.Their work has drawn comparisons to Durutti Column + Cluster ... more

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